My Blog

Why wait 'til Spring?

12/19/2017

Why is it that the general population is under the impression that you should wait until spring and summer to buy real estate? Did you know, that the winter time is the PERFECT time to begin your house hunt? Here's why: 

1. Fewer buyers to compete with. Most other people have heard from their sphere of influence to wait until the warmer months to do anything. This gives you an advantage! 

2. Lower inventory, but less competition! Most people know that the spring is when people list their houses. So, though you may have less to choose from, you also have less people to compete with. 

3. Prices can be lower. Fewer buyers means less demand. 

4. Sellers are motivated! With the winter brings less activity so sellers will generally be much more willing to negotiate. 

5. It's no secret that realtors tell sellers if they have the option, to list in the spring. But, if they have to list in the winter, it usually means they have no choice due to a job change, financial issues, divorce, etc. Thus, this circles back around to the seller being very motivated because they may HAVE to sell. 

6. Multiple offers are usually unlikely this time of year. You won't have to include your arm and kidney in your offer to purchase :)

7. Low activity means you are better taken care of. Lawyers, inspectors, even the realtors are possibly not as busy this time of year. Things can get done quicker and more efficiently for you! 

 

Get Your Home Cleaner...FASTER!

12/19/2017

 

 

Does anyone else feel like they can never stay on top of keeping their house clean? I've come up with a list of what I think are the most helpful tips when trying to keep your house clean most of the time, instead of letting it become a disaster all week and then panicking to get it clean over the weekend. Hope this helps! 

1. Clean your shower while you shower! Keep a bottle of cleaner in there and after every shower, give it a good, quick clean. 

2. Clean a little once a day and then deep clean once a week!

3. Clean during commercials! 

4. Keep an ongoing donation box! If you try on an item of clothing you don't want anymore, toss it in the box. When the box is full, off to Goodwill it goes! 

5. Make your tv watching or down time more productive. Chatting with a friend on the phone or watching your favorite show? Fold laundry while you're doing this. It turns idle time into productive time. 

6. Try going to bed with a clean house so you can wake up with a clean house. Load and turn on the dish washer before you go to sleep so that you can unload and put away the clean dishes in the morning. 

7. Adapt a daily/weekly/and monthly cleaning schedule.

8. Make your bed every.single.day. No questions asked! 

9. DELEGATE! It's so important for kids to learn what chores are. Teach them that making their bed in the morning is a no brainer. Let them help dry the dishes. Teach them to clean up their toys at the end of the day so that you aren't running around like a crazy person. 

10. Do things right away. Clean while you cook, clean up spills immediately, hang up clothes after you wear them, wipe off bathroom countertops after you get ready. The more you get in this habit, the easier it becomes and the less work for you to do at the end of the day or on the weekends. 

First Time Home Buyers

11/14/2017

 

 

Hi! If you're reading this, you must be somewhat interested in starting the process of becoming a homeowner, CONGRATULATIONS! I know it seems scary and maybe even impossible...but trust me when I say this is such an exciting time and WAY less scary than you think! First things first, we need to figure out if you're able to do this. So here are the steps we need to follow: 

Step 1: Call me :) Let's get to know each other. I want to know your plans, what you do, everything about you! This will also help me put you in contact with the right lender for you. 

Step 2: Find the right lender for you and begin working with them! The lender will go more in depth with this part but basically we will find the right one for you and then you will start sending them a lot of paperwork about your credit, finances, income, etc. 

Step 3: Get Pre-Qualified! For some people, this will be quick and easy. For some, it may take a few weeks or months to get your credit straight and to make sure you are making enough money. This will also tell us how much house you can afford. I don't want to show you $200,000 houses if you can only afford a $150,000 house. Talk about a let down. 

Step 4: Start your search. This is the fun part :) Once we know your budget, then we go house searching!! We find out what you like, don't like, and then narrow down your choices to hopefully make an offer. 

Step 5:Making the offer. This is fun, but can be a little scary. The offer to purchase is long and prompts you to make a lot of decisions. Do you want to ask for the furnishings? Do you want a home warranty? Do you want the sellers to pay closing costs? Lots to think about! But, once the buyer and the seller come to an agreement, you are officially under contract! 

Step 6: Due diligence: This is your time to get inspections done and make sure you are 100% committed to buying this home. This is your time to back out for any or no reason at all. 

Step 7: Closing! Wooo! You're almost there. Once due diligence is over, we have to make sure the lawyers and the lenders have everything and then we go to the attorneys office and you get the keys to your first home! 

I hope you found this helpful! I"m here to answer any questions you may have and I look forward to talking with you! Remember, I service the Bladen, Columbus, Brunswick, and New Hanover County areas! 

Please check out my video that goes along with this blog post! 

 

Don't Wait-Beat the Crowds and Buy This Winter

12/1/2015

 

snow-globe-house

 

Now that the U.S. has regained its job-creation mojo, as the October employment report showed, the demand for housing is only going to grow.

After all, when people have jobs they can break off and form new households—ditching the roommates behind or finally moving out of Mom and Dad’s basement—and that’s what fundamentally drives home purchases.

Most of the households created over the past two years have been renting households, but based on U.S. Census data for the third quarter of this year, it appears that homeownership has started to recover.

This especially makes sense now that it is cheaper to own than rent in more than three-quarters of the counties in the U.S. And it’s not getting better— rents are rising year over year at twice the pace of listing prices. Meanwhile, mortgage rates remain at near record lows but appear poised to increase over the next year. And home prices are rising, too.

So if you qualify for a mortgage and have the funds for a down payment and closing costs—and if you intend to live in a home long enough to cover the transaction costs of buying and selling—you will be better off financially if you buy as soon as you can. After all, if you are tired of your current home now, you won’t feel better about it in six months.

The top factors driving home shoppers this summer were pent-up demand and recognition of favorable mortgage rates and home prices. These drivers will likely remain well into next year.

Yet demand for housing is extremely seasonal. In most markets in the country, we are conditioned to believe that we should buy homes in the spring and summer. So come each October, plans to purchase shift to the spring. While the school calendar and weather do influence the ideal time to move, many buyers would benefit from buying this fall and winter rather than waiting until next spring.

In October, the percentage of would-be buyers on realtor.com® saying that they intend to buy in seven to 12 months was the highest it has been all year and represented the largest time frame for purchase. Likewise, October produced the lowest percentage of would-be buyers saying they intend to buy in the next three months.

In other words, people’s stated plans point to a very strong spring for home sales. Great, right? But here’s the problem: Inventory isn’t likely to be higher in March and April than it is now. And while inventory should grow in late spring and into summer, it won’t grow as fast as the seasonal demand.

So, if you are ready, consider getting in the market now instead of early spring. You will have more choices and less competition, and you can lock in today’s rates rather than risk rates being 25 to 50 basis points higher. (A basis point is 0.01 percentage point.)

A 50 basis-point increase in rates (for example, from 4.05% to 4.55%) would cause monthly payments to be 6% higher. And that increase would not only affect your monthly cash flow but could also affect your ability to qualify.

So if you are considering buying a home this spring, it’s worth exploring the inventory now and reaching out to a local Realtor®. A new home could be the best gift you give yourself and your family this holiday season.

 

 

Why You Should Sell Now...Before Winter Hits

11/17/2015

Why You Should Sell Now... Before Winter Hits | Keeping Current Matters

People across the country are beginning to think about what their life will look like next year. It happens every Fall. We ponder whether we should relocate to a different part of the country to find better year-round weather or perhaps move across the state for better job opportunities.

Homeowners in this situation must consider whether they should sell their house now or wait. If you are one of these potential sellers, here are five important reasons to do it now versus the dead of winter.

1. Demand is Strong

Foot traffic refers to the number of people out actually physically looking at home right now. The latest foot traffic numbers show that buyers are still out in force looking for their dream home. These buyers are ready, willing and able to buy…and are in the market right now!

As we get later into the year, many people have other things (weather, holidays, etc.) that distract them from searching for a home. Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.

2. There Is Less Competition Now

Housing supply is still well under the 6 months’ supply necessary for a normal market. This means that, in many markets, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in that market. This is good news for home prices. However, additional inventory is about to come to market.

There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. Homeowners are now seeing a return to positive equity as real estate values have increased over the last two years. Many of these homes will be coming to the market in the near future.

Also, new construction of single-family homes is again beginning to increase. A study by Harris Poll revealed that 41% of buyers would prefer to buy a new home while only 21% prefer an existing home (38% had no preference).

The choices buyers have will continue to increase over the next few months. Don’t wait until all this other inventory of homes comes to market before you sell.

3. The Process Will Be Quicker

One of the biggest challenges of the housing market in recent times has been the length of time it takes from contract to closing. Banks are requiring more and more paperwork before approving a mortgage. Any delay in the process is always prolonged during the winter holiday season. Getting your house sold and closed before those delays begin will lend itself to a smoother transaction.

4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move-Up

If you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now. Prices are projected to appreciate by over 18.1% from now to 2019. If you are moving to a higher priced home, it will wind-up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait. You can also lock-in your 30-year housing expense with an interest rate below 4% right now. Rates are projected to rise by this time next year.

5. It’s Time to Move On with Your Life

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take back control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps, the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.

That is what is truly important.

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